Kristy Slominski Bio

Slominski headshotKristy L. Slominski is the Assistant Professor of Religion, Science, and Health in the Department of Religious Studies and Classics at the University of Arizona. She is a historian of how religion and sexuality have intersected with science and health in the United States. She received her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she specialized in North American religions and completed a Feminist Studies Emphasis and a Certificate in College and University Teaching. She was nationally elected by the membership of the American Academy of Religion to serve on the Board of Directors from January 2014 to December 2015 as its Student Director. She has previously taught as an Instructional Assistant Professor of American religion and modern Christianity at the University of Mississippi and as a Visiting Lecturer in Religious Studies at Georgia State University.

Dr. Slominski’s first book, Teaching Moral Sex: A History of Religion and Sex Education in the United States, is forthcoming in early 2021 with Oxford University Press. It argues that liberal religious people and organizations like the Federal Council of Churches changed the course of American sex education. Through their contributions to mainstream movements for public sex education for over a century, they influenced major shifts in the teaching of sexuality, including the mid-century trend of family life education. At the same time, their development of progressive and conservative approaches to sexuality laid the groundwork for both sides of contemporary battles between abstinence-only advocates and comprehensive sexuality educators. This historical project spans the late nineteenth century to the present, from the early campaigns for sex education by the social purity and social hygiene movements to the more recent religious debates over comprehensive sexuality education and abstinence-only education.

Teaching Moral Sex is a revised version of Slominski’s dissertation. Her committee consisted of Catherine L. Albanese (chair), Ann Taves, Wade Clark Roof, and Patricia Cline Cohen. She completed doctoral exams in the fields of 1) Post-1865 American Religious History, 2) Global Christianities, and 3) Ethnographies of Religion, with an emphasis on method and ethnographies of religion, gender, and the body.

She received her M.A. in religious studies from UCSB. Her master’s thesis examined the Women’s Christian Temperance Union’s views on prostitution in the late nineteenth century under the leadership of Frances Willard. She received her B.A. in religious studies and interdisciplinary studies from Michigan State University. Her undergraduate research was focused on twentieth-century transgender history within American religions.

Kristy Slominski also manages Religion Scholars in Progress, an online collection of professional development resources for religious studies graduate students.